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‘Story warrior’ shares tale of William Clark’s slave

Tolovana Arts Colony welcomes Gideon For-mukwai Nov. 12

Published on November 9, 2017 12:01AM

Gideon For-mukwai, a “story warrior”

Courtesy Tolovana Arts Colony

Gideon For-mukwai, a “story warrior”


CANNON BEACH — At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at Tolovana Hall, experienced storyteller Gideon For-mukwai shares the oft-untold story of York, the lone slave on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

During the expedition, York, who was owned by the family of William Clark, experienced measures of freedom and respect.

He was permitted to carry a gun and granted a voting interest in the party. As blacks would not be allowed to vote until the passage of the 15th Amendment some six decades later, York may have been the first black man to ever be granted a vote in America.

York, who grew up alongside Clark and referred to as his “manservant,” was an integral member of the expedition. York as was an accomplished hunter, renown for his strength and one the few party members who could swim. Both York’s physicality and the color of his skin helped establish relations with native American tribes met along the way.

And yet, after his devoted, honorable and indispensable service, York was denied what he most desired.

For the ending — which includes an astounding, tragic twist — join “story warrior” Gideon For-mukwai and the Tolovana Arts Colony for this free storytelling event at Tolovana Hall (3779 S. Hemlock St.) in Cannon Beach.

An accomplished researcher and presenter who has worked across the world, For-mukwai will share York’s tale using a number of devices, including narration, and by stepping into the character himself. The presentation will be followed by a discussion panel and Q-and-A.

For more information, visit tolovanaartscolony.org, email tolovanaartscolony@gmail.com, or call 541-215-4445.



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